I think I’m having a Benjamin Button moment. Do you remember the movie? It starred Brad Pitt as a man who was aging backwards. Except in my case, I’m not turning back the hands of time in regard to my physical appearance. What’s happening to me is that my cultural taste seems to be rapidly rewinding to that of a person who doesn’t need reading glasses.
Honestly, I’ve always had what could be classified as less than erudite leanings. Basically, I’m basic. Give me a good hamburger over caviar any day of the week. As for wine, well let’s just say it’s wasted on my tastebuds.
Since I’m baring my soul I will now confess to a secret shame. For three years back in the early aughts I had a subscription to “US Weekly” magazine. It’s the journalistic equivalent of generic one ply toilet paper and it’s a magazine that you could read cover-to-cover in a single brief bathroom visit.
This is all evidence that I haven’t exactly gone from discussing if the better Polish composer was Moritz Moszkowki or Frédéric Chopin to suddenly binge watching all 16 seasons of the “Real Housewives of Orange County.” (Pro tip – stop watching after season 13. The quality, and I’m using that term incredibly loosely, goes into free fall in the ensuing seasons.)
But what I have found myself doing is becoming engaged, enthralled and dare I say consumed by pop culture that perhaps I should have aged out of it. The most recent example of my childish behavior is that I became emotionally invested in the recent drama surrounding the seriously trashy and brain cell numbing reality show “Vanderpump Rules.”
Long story short there was a cheating scandal that was as heartbreaking as it was deliciously tawdry and I was all on the drama. Like All IN. I listened to podcasts about it, weighed in on social media posts and of course, did some TikToks because that’s the appropriate behavior of a woman who remembers a life with rotary phones – TikToks about a show geared towards people four decades younger than me.
I knew it was bad when my 22-year-old daughter called me to get the scoop about what was happening with the scandal because according to her I’m suffering from “pop culture arrested development.” I was a little insulted by that remark, but it didn’t stop me from gleefully sharing all the inside information I had compiled from my voracious research.
After I was done explaining the “Vanderpump Rules” dumpster fire I did though begin to wonder if I should be concerned about my behavior, and this caused me to do one of my least favorite things – introspection. Why wasn’t I enriching my soul with the beauty and majesty on this planet instead of posting TikToks about reality TV drama?
I started getting a little scared that I had no good answer to that question when all of sudden I had a glorious epiphany. None of this behavior was my fault because I was indoctrinated at a young age to eschew cultural enriching entertainment.
And by that I mean my grandmother got me hooked on soap operas when I was seven. Yes, seven. At her knee I become a trash TV disciple. From “Dark Shadows” to “General Hospital” I learned about the world of cheating spouses, killer wives, evil twins and coming back from the dead. I don’t think the human brain can ever recover from being exposed to that. So, now I’m abandoning my guilt and giving myself permission to unashamedly wallow in, umm, let’s call it the less refined arts.
What do you say we all give TV a rest and do a little reading? Even better if you decide to read one of my books. 😍 There’s Empty a “laugh till you cry” menopausal revenge adventure. (Yes, you read that right menopausal revenge. It’s a thing.) Back to School is a hysterical read for any mom who’s experienced elementary school parent drama. Trouble in Texas is a tall tale of what happens when a daughter lets her septuagenarian mom enlist her in a wild scheme that could end up with both of them in jail. And Four Seasons of Snarky is full of short stories (perfect for the person who doesn’t have much time to read) that feature tales of suburban revenge. 😉
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